Potential cross-recognition model for mHealth apps developed by DigitalHealthEurope twinning partners

DigitalHealthEurope twinning partners from Andalusia and Portugal have developed a potential model for cross-recognition of mobile health applications.

As part of the DigitalHealthEurope twinning scheme, the Andalusian Agency for Healthcare Quality (ACSA, belonging to the Andalusian Public Health System) collaborated with Serviços Partilhados do Ministério da Saúde (SPMS, belonging to the Ministry of Health in Portugal) to identify common recommendations and requirements for the design, use and assessment of mobile health applications. Over the course of nine months, ACSA and SPMS also aimed to design a potential cross-recognition model for mHealth apps between Andalusia and Portugal. The DigitalHealthEurope twinning scheme brings together originators – owners of good practice – with adopters, who are looking to learn and implement digital health solutions in their respective contexts.

Working meeting in Seville, Spain, in January 2019

ACSA, the originator, developed its AppSaludable model (“Safety and Quality Strategy in Mobile Health Apps”) in 2012. As part of the DigitalHealthEurope twinning scheme, the AppSaludable model served as the basis for improving adopter SPMS’ own model MySNS Selecção. Through an Expert Panel comprised of representatives from both organisations, plus several external collaborators including experts from mHealth Belgium, the Portuguese model was analysed and compared with the Andalusian approach. Based on the analysis, the DigitalHealthEurope twinning partners developed recommendations and requirements for the design, use and assessment of digital health applications.

Additionally, ACSA and SPMS designed a potential cross-recognition model. Using this model, any mobile health application approved by AppSaludable would automatically be recognised by MySNS Selecção and vice versa. The DigitalHealthEurope twinning partners’ potential cross-recognition model includes 35 requirements for the certification of mHealth apps and could constitute the first step towards a common international framework on the assessment of health applications. Moreover, a cross-recognition model could lead to new possibilities for international cooperation in mHealth app development.

Both ACSA and SPMS are interested in continuing their collaboration around mobile health applications. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic arising during the twinning, the DigitalHealthEurope twinning partners are expected to continue their partnership in the future.

 More information about the AppSaludable twinning can be found here.